How to Stick to Healthy Habits
Holidays are there to be enjoyed, but if you’ve worked hard all year to create and stick to some healthy habits, then it can be hard to know how to find that sweet spot. Here are our tips for how to stay on track this summer.
Doing a little advanced research before you leave can go a long way to helping you stay on track. Getting an understanding of where you might eat out and what kind of local food is on offer will help you to plan meals ahead if weight loss is your goal. If you’re aiming to stick to a certain workout schedule then equally, knowing what facilities are around or what alternatives exercises are on offer – hikes, swims or bike rides for example – will help you adapt your routine accordingly.
Catch up on sleep
Sleeping longer and more deeply is a hallmark of a great holiday, after all, it’s one of the only times many of us get to properly recharge our batteries but getting enough good quality sleep is also important in helping you stick to your good habits, especially if you’re looking to lose weight. When you don’t get enough sleep, two chemicals in the brain – ghrelin which stimulates hunger and leptin which signals satiety – are thrown off balance. Reduced sleep is associated with decreases in leptin but increases in ghrelin, making it more likely that you’ll overindulge, and on high-fat, high-carb choices to boot. Elevated cortisol levels also directly impact your ability to make rational decisions, including what to eat.
Be mindful of your alcohol consumption
It’s not just associated weight gain that’s problematic with alcohol but how much it can negatively impact your mood and make any good habits you might have formed harder to stick to. If you do want to factor in a drink or two into your holiday, then do, just try and think balance; set some limits before you go out and stick to them and make sure you drink plenty of water in between alcoholic drinks too.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
As much as you might want to stick to healthy choices while you’re away, it’s also worth remembering that they are a time to enjoy yourself and relax as well as enjoy trying new cuisines and treats. So, if you do slip up, then don’t beat yourself up about it. Not letting yourself actually enjoy all aspects of your holiday will most likely cause you more stress and mean you come back feeling uptight and like you haven’t really had a chance to let go at all. If you end up going too far and you feel a sense of disappointment in yourself then don’t forget tomorrow is a new day. Take a deep breath, be kind to yourself and push aside any frustrations and try again the next day.